Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
Burt Reynolds used to make movies about people's lifestyles. Now he seems more interested in making movies that fit in with his own lifestyle. "Stroker Ace" is another in a series of essentially identical movies he has made with director Hal Needham, and although it's allegedly based on a novel, it's really based on their previous box-office hits like "Smokey and the Bandit" and "The Cannonball Run."
To call the movie a lightweight, bubble-headed summer entertainment is not criticism but simply description. This movie is so determined to be inconsequential that it's actually capable of showing horrible, fiery racing crashes and then implying that nobody got hurt. The plot involves a feud between two NASCAR drivers (played by Reynolds and Parker Stevenson) who specialize in sideswiping each other at 140 m.p.h. in the middle of a race. I don't think that's a very slick idea.
Reynolds plays the same basic Good Ol' Boy he's been refining for years -- the sly, woman-chasing character with a couple of good buddies and an eye on the big time. He needs somebody to sponsor his car, and he ends up with Clyde Torkle, a fried-chicken king who is played by Ned Beatty with a low bow in the directions of Col. Sanders and Jackie Gleason. Torkle makes Reynolds paint the slogan Fastest Chicken in the West! on the side of his car. This provides most of the dramatic conflict in the movie.
Reynolds' sidekick is an auto mechanic named Lugs (Jim Nabors), and the romantic interest is Loni Anderson. She plays a Sunday-school teacher who doesn't drink and is a virgin. So Reynolds slips her some champagne, gets her drunk and, in an unpleasant, unfunny and creepy scene, semi-undresses her while making small talk to her unconscious body.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
A review of Netflix's new series, Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," which premieres January 13.
Meryl Streep and other awards recipients shared their thoughts on an America under Donald Trump during last night's G...
A review of NBC's "Emerald City," premiering January 6th.